Three Things About ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3’ That Don’t Suck… Thank God This List Doesn’t Go to Four
After appearing in the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time, a short-lived television spin-off and an inoffensive but ultimately unnecessary sequel, the Portokalos are back for yet another wedding — and this time they actually brought the Big Fat Greek Wedding to Greece.
But with that aforementioned inoffensive but ultimately unnecessary sequel under her belt, Nia Vardalos had some serious work to do to make a film that was six years in development feel fruitful. Unfortunately for the writer/star/now director, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 feels like another derivative entry in the franchise. The themes and jokes were all done more successfully in the original, and even when new elements are introduced — a la Maria’s dementia that accelerates with the loss of her husband — they’re almost immediately abandoned.
For better or for worse, it’s the type of movie that only a Greek mother could love. That said, the trip to the family village in Greece wasn’t all for naught. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3, which just debuted on Peacock, has these three things going for it that at least make it worth a passive watch…
A Reminder that John Corbett Can Act When He Wants To
For an entire generation, Corbett is nothing more than Carrie Bradshaw’s on-again, off-again, on-again, off-again, on-again, one-more-time-again partner on Sex and the City and now And Just Like That… As iconic as Aidan Shaw is within the SATC Universe, Corbett’s acting in the dramedy leaves much to be desired, which is insane when you consider that he was nominated for an Emmy in 1992 for his performance on Northern Exposure as bohemian radio personality Chris Stevens.
His return as the token non-Greek in Vardalos’ film is also a return of his acting chops. Sure, there’s nothing groundbreaking in his third go around as Ian Miller, but there’s definitely nuance, warmth and humanity in his performace. He isn’t just reading poorly-written words off the page, he’s giving those poorly-written words some depth and relatability.
As a character who was famously the butt of this chaotic Greek family’s jokes in the first two films, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 gives Corbett his time to shine as a jokester. He’s hardly the funniest person in the film (we’ll get to that diva in a moment), but it’s still refreshing to see him let loose and have fun in a way that’s not cloying or immature.
It’s a Gorgeous Commercial for Greece’s Ministry of Tourism
To be honest, if you asked me for a streamlined plot of the film, I’d struggle to provide an answer. The third movie feels more like a bunch of scenes that are glued together purely by vibes. Home videos of my family have more sound structure and narrative flow than My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3. The film feels like Vardalos — in very Sandler-like fashion — mostly wanted to hang out with her movie family and take a vacation in Greece on the production company’s dime.
While we don’t get a “good” movie in the traditional sense, we do get some gorgeous settings in what’s like a fruit sensory video made up of Mediterranean landscapes. So many of the social aspects of Greek-American life were present across the franchise’s first two films, and the new location is a nice way to explore identity through a different (literal) lens. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 is truly beautiful to look at, starting with its opening-credits shot of the most decadent baklava you’ve ever seen. As you get lost in trying to make sense of the plot, you’ll at least be happy to be similarly lost in cinematography that has no business being as good as it is.
Andrea Martin Is a National Treasure
As charming as Vardalos was as the bashful Toula in the franchise’s first film, she was never the star of the show. Okay, she technically was, but her star didn’t shine as bright as one scene stealer. From the moment Aunt Voula said, “What do you mean he don’t eat no meat? Oh, that’s okay. I make lamb,” the movie became Andrea Martin’s. The comedian, who has a pair of Emmys and Tonys under her belt, brought her storied Broadway career and improv skills to the original, lighting up every scene she was in. She somehow made a monologue about a lump on her neck, where she fumbled with the word “biopsy” and pronounced it “bibopsy,” sound like the funniest thing ever written.
And her eccentricities and funny quips were just as strong, if not stronger, in the second movie that I’d genuinely go as far as to say she was deserving of an Oscar nomination. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 doesn’t utilize her as much as it should have, but her commitment to portraying Vardalos’ oversharing aunt remains unwavering.
In an interview with The Wrap, Martin described the movie as a “warm hug,” and I think many of us would kill for a warm hug from someone like Aunt Voula.